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A. W. Tozer wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” If we were to add a follow-up statement, it would be this: “What comes into our minds when we think about ourselves is the second most important thing about us.”

There is a direct connection between the two, for it is truthful thoughts about God that set the way for truthful thoughts about self. Consider how this might play out in the life of a believer.

If a believing man or woman thinks of God as Creator, they rightfully think of themselves as His beloved image bearers. If they think of Him as Redeemer, they rightfully think of themselves as His eternal sons and daughters. If they think of Him as Father, they rightfully think of themselves as securely loved by Him and inseparably related to Him.

But self-first thinking distorts this reality, because it causes us to perceive God as weak, neglectful, or uncaring. And once we have “put God” in such a faraway place, our thoughts will flow downstream into pride and fear. We either have to take over for God, which never ends well, or we withdraw into hopelessness.

The believer’s mind is not made to wander but to focus, to “take our thoughts” where they need to be. And there’s no better place to start than with thoughts—true thoughts—about God Himself.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised
against the knowledge of God,
and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
—2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV